Summary and book reviews of Long Story Short by Siobhan Parkinson

Long Story Short

by Siobhan Parkinson

Long Story Short by Siobhan Parkinson X
Long Story Short by Siobhan Parkinson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Jun 2011, 160 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Ellis Smith
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

From Ireland's first laureate for children's literature comes a story of abuse and neglect told with sincerity, heart, and a healthy dose of humor.

Jono has always been able to cope with his mother's drinking, but when she hits his little sister Julie, he decides it's time for them to run away. Told in Jono's funny, self-conscious voice, the layers of his past and the events of his escape are gradually revealed. Amusing and touching but never sentimental, Siobhan Parkinson is a well reviewed middle-grade author who now turns her considerable skill as a writer to a young adult audience.

1

My grandmother died.

I know this is not what you would call a dramatic opening. It's what happens to grandparents. They get old (jeez, they are old to start with, or they wouldn't  begrandparents, would they?); they die. (My grandfather died too, actually, but that's another story.)

Mr. O'Connell, who is my Creative Writing teacher, which is to say he's my English teacher, but he is into Creative Writing (capital letters deliberate)—he would say, Not intriguing enough, Jonathan. You need to hook your reader.

But, frankly, I couldn't be bothered with the hooking part. See, I don't think you need to start on the premise that your reader (if you have one) is a fish.

There used to be a song about that, Gramma used to sing it, about how uneducated fish are, how they can't write their names or read books—which may or may not have been put in for the rhyme with brook. That's where the illiterate fish in question lives, allegedly. ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Siobhán Parkinson has written a tight, funny, and heartbreaking story of one boy's determination to keep his ever-dwindling family - which ultimately consists of his sister and himself - together. This is at the heart of Jono's voice. This is what makes his story so believable: his unwavering love for Julie. Long Story Short is a perfect middle grade and young adult read. Clearly told from within an Irish landscape, it is universal both in its humor and drama...continued

Full Review (519 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Tamara Ellis Smith).

Media Reviews

Horn Book
The brief, tightly structured novel is suffused with Jono’s desire for a Happy Family, but Parkinson is too good a writer to settle for an easy, happily-ever-after ending. She does, however, allow readers a credible hope in Julie and Jono’s future.

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Unassumingly slender, Long Story Short packs a serious wallop... [the] story is wrenching, but whose manner of telling it is disarming, honest, and often hilarious.... Don’t miss this one.

Booklist
If the story - filled with flashbacks - is occasionally a bit slow paced, Jono's realistic first-person voice holds the reader's interest, and the setting is as vivid as the boy's briskly vernacular language.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Jono's voice is lively and individual... an engaging narrator and a stand-up guy in a tough situation.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. [A] deeply affecting story about what can go wrong when adults fail children and the choices available to them are all bad.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Siobhán Parkinson

Siobhán Parkinson On May 11, 2010, Siobhán Parkinson (pronounced sh-vawn) became the first Irish Children's Literature Laureate (aka Laureate Na nÓg) ever. (Na nÓg is an Irish term meaning "the young" or "young people"). Held for two years, the main purpose of the position is to expose youths to good, high quality children's literature and to weave it into Ireland's culture. Siobhán said of what she hopes to achieve:

"[That] every child in the country has access to a nice, bright, warm, cheerful, comfortable library, where they can go and find the books that will open their minds and bring them into wonderful imaginary places. That sense of excitement and joy about books I want every child to have... I believe that children's ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Long Story Short, try these:

  • Eleanor & Park jacket

    Eleanor & Park

    by Rainbow Rowell

    Published 2020

    About this book

    More by this author

    Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits - smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you'll remember your own first love - and just how hard it pulled you under.

  • The Golden Day jacket

    The Golden Day

    by Ursula Dubosarsky

    Published 2015

    About this book

    When their teacher goes missing during an outing, eleven girls grapple with the aftermath in this haunting, exquisitely told psychological mystery.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: All That She Carried
    All That She Carried
    by Tiya Miles
    For Rose of Charleston, South Carolina, it was an ordinary day until it wasn't. When it turned out ...
  • Book Jacket
    Migrations
    by Charlotte McConaghy
    Migrations, Australian author Charlotte McConaghy's literary fiction debut, earned a notably high ...
  • Book Jacket: The Forest of Vanishing Stars
    The Forest of Vanishing Stars
    by Kristin Harmel
    Kristin Harmel's historical novel The Forest of Vanishing Stars was very well-received by our First ...
  • Book Jacket: African Europeans
    African Europeans
    by Olivette Otele
    The nexus of Africans and Europeans is not a recent historical development. Rather, the peoples of ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
All the Little Hopes
by Leah Weiss
A Southern story of friendship forged by books and bees, in the murky shadows of World War II.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Sunset Route
    by Carrot Quinn

    A beautiful memoir about forgiveness, self-discovery, and the redemptive power of nature.

Win This Book!
Win The Debt Trap

The Debt Trap
by Josh Mitchell

"A meticulous, eye-opening history of the US student debt crisis."
—Publishers Weekly

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A T I A Teapot

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.